CD Review: Iva Bittová & Cikori | Music | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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CD Review: Iva Bittová & Cikori 

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Iva Bittova & Cikori At Home
(Pavian Records, 2016)

Gentle and acoustic but subtly grooving and buoyed by artful, weird ambience, Iva Bittova & Cikori's At Home is a delicious and transportive place to spend an hour. Red Hook resident Bittova's ethereal vision of world-jazz coexists with an animalistic avant-garde impulse as if there were no contradiction at all. A series of set poems by different writers—most in her native Czech, a few in English—At Home challenges the genre categories to their breaking point. The core ensemble of acoustic guitar (Vladimir Vaclavek), upright bass (Jaromir Honzak), and the beautiful, round trumpet of Oskar Torok leans toward a kind of new age pop, but Bittova's wild vocal technique and her taste for found sounds and garishly descriptive environmental effects steer things well clear of mannered vocal jazz. Both of the album's tendencies—intimate, meditative reflections and the skittering agitations of a meadow in spring—find expression on the schizo standout track "Je Mi Zima," but every song here is of a piece and a world apart.

—John Burdick

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